In order to escape the smell of gloss paint, we went out yesterday. It must be around twenty years since we last visited Talkin Tarn near Brampton in Cumbria. The reason for visiting this time was that the Woollen Woods project had subtly yarn-bombed the woods.
A tarn is a small lake, particularly a mountain one in Cumbria or Scotland. Talkin Tarn is in a country park in the care of Carlisle City Council.
It is a good distance from home. We set off in time to reach a fish restaurant for lunch. The weather forecast was for light cloud and a maximum temperature of 14° C. The cloud was scattered with blue sky showing through for most of our journey. The views from the car were superb. It was very clear. The road goes through farmland for most of the journey. Scotland was clearly visible across the Solway Firth from time to time. (The road undulates and unsurprisingly there are no views from the valleys.)
The trees are not yet in full leaf here. It was noticeable that spring is later father north.
From the privileged position of the passenger-seat I spotted wildflowers on the verges. These included buttercups, daisies, dandelions, red campion, cowslips, cow parsley, chervil, mustard garlic and ox-eye daisies.
In gardens there were splashes of brilliant orange, red, pink, purple and yellow from azaleas, rhododendrons, lilac and laburnum respectively. The hawthorn (or May) blossom has begun to flower in the last few days.
Leaves on the deciduous trees have their fresh spring colours and many are only buds. Scots pines also grow in many places and give a darker evergreen contrast for the lighter shades of green.
At Talkin Tarn we took a few minutes to acclimatise after travelling in a warm car. We needed to wrap up warm. There was a cool wind blowing over the water.
Everything about Talkin Tarn was bigger than I remembered from our previous visit, when our children were fairly young. The lake was bigger than I remembered. (I joked that my legs must be shorter – I wondered whether I really had the strength to walk all the way round it.) The mature trees, especially the beeches and forest oaks with tall straight trunks seemed to reach up to the sky.
We began by looking at some woollen creatures in the area near the car park (or parking lot for any readers the other side of the Atlantic Ocean). Then we set off round the lake in a clockwise direction. It is the half-term holiday here. As well as retired people, who enjoy midweek outings there were quite a number of children from babes to teens with parents or grandparents or in groups with several mothers. There were also plenty of dogs.
All sorts of water activities are allowed at a price. There were people in boats or paddling kayaks, but they were outnumbered by the waterfowl. Mallard ducks and drakes, moorhens, black-headed gulls and a pair of swans were going about their normal lives.
Birds and boats
Most people regarded the park as countryside and spoke as we passed them. The sun shone through gaps in the clouds and in spite of the early threat from a dark cloud it remained dry and became pleasantly warm. We had removed some layers of clothing by the time we were back at the entrance. We walked on a higher path through the woodland for the last part, having climbed some steps.
The ground was firm beneath our feet. We were comfortable wearing sensible shoes and did not regret leaving our walking boots in the boot (trunk) of the car.
Having been a little disappointed with Talkin Tarn as a family destination years ago, we were more than happy with this visit. The weather can make a big difference to how a place looks.
There were interesting flowers growing around the tarn. Signposts indicated the shortest way to various points including the tea room, bird observatory (which was possibly a building closed for renovation) and bays had individual names.
On the way home there were hazier views with the rise in temperature.
I have begun using Google+ to back up my photos. It decided the photo I liked best from this outing was ‘awesome’ and rendered it in monochrome. I’ve uploaded both versions. My reason for taking it was to share with a blogging/writery friend, Helen. Which one do you like best?